Life's Onion and the Therapeutic AllianceLife’s Onion® was originally designed, developed, and tested in use with mental and behavioral health counseling. It was used in both individual and group therapy activities across a range of modalities, and in both clinical facilities and private practices. We got a lot of feedback from counselors and clinical leadership, and they got a lot of feedback from clients.

We paid close attention to that feedback and took note of the powerful benefits that were being reported from including Life’s Onion in behavioral health and addiction recovery treatment. Clients were engaging more, therapists were working together more seamlessly, and treatment facilities were seeing more referrals and lower AMA (against medical advice) discharges.

Since that time, Life’s Onion has been creatively applied across a wider horizon line of purposes including youth counseling, life coaching, business consulting, mindfulness-based therapy, social work, community programs, personal improvement and self-help workshops. In every instance, we have received feedback echoing the sentiments of our initial research: the Life’s Onion tool brings people together, organizes thinking, and makes intangible tasks easier to understand. It is a physical, visual focal point that invites taking any subject and exploring it at depth.

Below are some of the real world benefits that have been reported as a result of using Life’s Onion and its support materials.

Benefits of Life’s Onion® for Clients

The experience of transforming Life’s Onion into a flower is a simple yet powerful process that reinforces a client’s newly found ideas, beliefs, behaviors, and skills. Whether it is applied in the context of cognitive behavioral therapy, substance abuse counseling, business coaching, or personal growth workshops, Life’s Onion inspires individuals to dig deeper and get to the core of the issue or idea they are exploring. Going from peels to petals and watching Life’s Onion transform into a flower provides a simple, solid framework empowered by rich, organic metaphors.

In clinical therapeutic environments,  Life’s Onion tracks an individual’s progress in a tangible, visual form that stays with them after therapy to reinforce their success. By labeling feelings and emotions and physically marking them on the petals, clients express and articulate the progress they make. Writing these feelings and themes down assists the user to stop the endless ‘spin cycle’ of troubled thoughts.

More about benefits for clients…

Benefits of Life’s Onion® for Therapists and Counselors

Life’s Onion supports the therapeutic alliance with clients in many ways. It provides a unique, visual, and tactile way to record a client’s goals and milestones. Life’s Onion can be immediately incorporated into virtually all current therapy, self-help, and motivational methods and protocols. The tool does not demand any specific program, system, or modality. It works in support of all theories and practices. No aspect of Life’s Onion interrupts any existing processes or techniques. In many cases, it acts as a major enhancement because it becomes a tangible touchstone in an otherwise conceptual process. Used in close consultation between a counselor or coach and client, Life’s Onion can help build, strengthen, and maintain the therapeutic bond from early in the process and throughout a program.

More about benefits for therapists…

Benefits of Life’s Onion® for Facilities

Therapy professionals need support tools and processes to help generate more favorable therapeutic outcomes and diminish abandonment and relapse rates. Life’s Onion can be used to supplement any existing process or technique. Because it is so flexible, it allows clinical staff to maintain an individual approach but gives them a unifying principle. This often makes therapeutic programs and groups feel more cohesive to clients. Having a focal point and developed support materials have been shown to give both staff and clients more confidence in associated programs, and a clearer sense of program goals. This improves clinical team performance, client outcomes, and the bottom line.

More about benefits to facilities